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Dr Muriel Newman

Election 2017 – Roundup

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The election is over and voters have had their say. Now the MMP horse-trading begins.

Elected MPs are the ones who will chose our new Prime Minister and deliver an administration that can command the 61 vote majority in the House that’s necessary to govern New Zealand.

Let’s firstly look at what the election delivered.

According to the Electoral Commission, turnout was up with 78.8 percent of enrolled voters voting, compared with 77.9 percent in 2014 and 74.21 percent in 2011.

The 2,169,802 ordinary votes that were counted on election night, gave the following provisional results: National 46 percent and 58 seats, Labour 35.8 percent and 45 seats, New Zealand First 7.5 percent and 9 seats, Greens 5.9 percent and 7 seats, and ACT 0.5 percent and one seat.

This compares with the last Parliament, where National had 59 seats, Labour 32 seats, the Greens 14 seats, New Zealand First 11 seats, the Maori Party 2 seats, ACT one seat and United Future one seat.

Early voting has proved increasingly popular with 1,240,740 New Zealanders – more than half of all voters – having their say before Election Day, compared with 717,579 in 2014 and 334,558 in 2011. This can be attributed not only to the increased interest in this election, but also to the convenience of doubling the number of early voting booths – including at some supermarkets.

The number of special votes also increased to record numbers, with 384,072 – 15 percent of voters – casting their votes from outside their own electorate (including 61,375 from overseas), enrolling after the printed electoral roll was closed, using the Electoral Commission’s telephone dictation service for blind and disabled voters, or being registered on the unpublished electoral roll.

Since special votes typically favour left-aligned parties, National is expected to lose up to two seats with Labour and the Greens gaining one each. The results should be available on October 7th, with the final official election results confirmed on October 12th

As expected, the election has delivered New Zealand First as the ‘kingmaker’.  That Party now has three main options. It can work with National as a two-party coalition with a four to six seat majority. It can work with Labour and the Greens as a three-party coalition, with a majority of one to three seats. Or it can guarantee confidence and supply to either National or Labour and the Greens, and then sit on the cross benches, negotiating one bill at a time.

If none of those options eventuate, another possibility is for National to work with the Greens, either in a two-party coalition or as a minority Government with an agreement on confidence and supply – although neither party seems keen on working with the other.

In the unlikely event of no agreement being able to be reached on a governing majority, a new election would need to be held.

Winston Peters has said that he is considering his options and will make a decision “in the national interest” by October 12th, once the official results are confirmed. Until then, we can be assured of a never-ending stream of speculation!

So what factors had the greatest influence on the outcome of the election? The answer to that question has to be the Greens – and the media.

The Green Party, with the assistance of the media, was instrumental in setting the agenda for the election.

They relentlessly claimed there was a ‘mood for change’, in spite of the fact that there was no such mood. That was revealed in a Listener poll just before the election, when 84 percent of New Zealanders said they think the country is doing incredibly well for a small nation at the bottom of the world, and 76 percent believe there is no better place to live.

With support for National dropping just one percent from the previous election, most people were simply not ready to toss out the party that had guided the country through two earthquakes, a global financial crisis, and some difficult commodity slumps.

With support for National dropping just one percent from the previous election, most people were clearly not ready to toss out the party that had guided the country through two earthquakes, a global financial crisis, and some difficult commodity slumps.

The Greens also exaggerated the state of our waterways, creating the impression that all are heavily polluted and that farmers are to blame, when the country’s most serious problems are caused by inadequate council sewerage and storm water systems. 

In spite of New Zealand using only two percent of its abundant fresh water resource, the Greens, along with Labour, focussed on denigrating the country’s 20 or so water bottling companies, manipulating public opinion into support for a punitive tax on water – even though such a tax would lead to a massive Treaty of Waitangi claim.

But it was the Greens attempt to poach Labour voters that created the biggest disruption to the election campaign, triggering a chain reaction that wiped out their co-leader, the Labour leader, seven Green MPs, and two of the smaller parties in Parliament.

The Green Party’s ‘own goal’ was set in motion through actions that were contrary to the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding they had signed with the Labour Party. But with Labour slumping in the polls under Andrew Little’s leadership, the Greens hatched a plan to target their social justice supporters through a rip-roaring speech on welfare reform, during which Metiria Turei would admit benefit fraud.

Their strategy was too successful for their own good. Their support sky-rocketed and Labour’s collapsed, forcing the Labour Party into a leadership change just seven weeks out from the election. With Labour’s electoral college leadership selection process – which gives party and Caucus members 40 percent each of the vote and the affiliated trade unions 20 percent – suspended within three months of an election, the Caucus was free to choose their popular deputy Jacinda Ardern as their new leader.

It was a move that sparked a literal media ‘love-fest’. ‘Jacindamania’ hoovered up latent Labour supporters from within the Greens and New Zealand First – more than halving their poll ratings from what they had been under Andrew Little. Even National lost some support as centre voters swung to the left.

The new look of Labour energised candidates fighting in the electorates, causing Peter Dunne to throw in the towel as United Future leader, and the Maori Party to lose its electorate seat.

It is indeed ironic that the Green Party, which has so assiduously promoted a radical Maori sovereignty agenda, is responsible for the collapse of the two Maori sovereignty parties – the Maori Party and Hone Harawera’s Mana Party.

Perhaps, in a wider sense, this signals that separatist radicalism is no longer wanted by most Maori voters – that indeed they want to be a part of New Zealand, not separate from New Zealand.    

That’s what this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, political analyst Frank Newman, has concluded in his report on the winners and losers of the election:

“The upset result of the evening was Labour’s clean sweep of the seven Maori seats, elbowing the Maori Party out of Parliament.

“On election night, the Maori Party gained 15,103 party votes from the seven Maori seats, or just 12 percent of Maori roll voters – despite the Maori Party extracting significant gains for Maori from its coalition with National.

“The other noteworthy result was the resounding defeat of the Mana Party’s Hone Harawera by Labour’s Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau. The question being asked is why voters on the Maori roll don’t want Mana or the Maori Party.  Quite possibly the sovereignty agenda of the Maori and Mana parties is too radical, even for Maori voters. The fact that all Maori electorates are now back with Labour would suggest most Maori are more comfortable being part of the mainstream.

“Given the collapse of Maori radicalism within the parliamentary system, the call for the abolition of the Maori seats may diminish, although it is fair to ask why the seats are required at all when Maori don’t want to be represented by a race-based party, and when Maori are now over-represented in Parliament.”

There are, in fact, 29 MPs in the new Parliament who have disclosed Maori ancestry – almost a quarter of Parliament.

The National Party has eight of those MPs – Paula Bennett, Simon Bridges, Jami-lee Ross, Joanne Hayes, Nuk Korako, Shane Reti, Adrienne Pierce, and Harete Hipango.

The Labour Party has thirteen – six in the general seats: Willow-Jean Prime, Kiritapu Allan, Willie Jackson, Louisa Wall, Jo Luxton, Paul Eagle – and the seven in the Maori seats: Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare, Nanaia Mahuta, Tamati Coffey, Adrian Rurawhe, Meka Whaitiri, and Rino Tirikatene.

Six of New Zealand First’s nine MPs have Maori ancestry – Winston Peters, Ron Mark, Tracey Martin, Fletcher Tabuteau, Shane Jones, and Jenny Marcroft.

Also claiming Maori ancestry is one Green MP, Marama Davidson, and ACT’s David Seymour.

Altogether, although Maori make up only 14 percent of the New Zealand population, they now have 24 percent representation in Parliament. This situation was foreshadowed by the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System, which warned that Maori would have an undue influence in Parliament if MMP was introduced without the Maori seats being abolished.

In fact, if the seven Maori seats were removed, the Maori influence in Parliament would be at 18 percent, instead of nearly a quarter of all MPs.

This over-representation in Parliament, along with the fact that Maori themselves have turned their back on the separatist representation offered by the Maori Party, surely bodes well for Winston Peters’ referendum on the Maori seats being accepted as a non-negotiable condition of any future coalition deal.

While, the media have reported that both major parties have been busy removing potential obstacles to doing a deal with New Zealand First, if Winston Peters sticks to his guns on a binding referendum on the Maori seats as being a bottom line issue, then Labour’s attitude may prove pivotal in determining the outcome of coalition talks.

Jacinda Ardern has pledged that under her watch, Labour will not agree to a referendum on the Maori seats as part of a coalition deal with New Zealand First: “Our strong view was it was always going to be up to Maori to decide what happened to the future of the Maori seats rather than a binding referendum. We have just taken all of the seats through hard working campaigning and our policy on that has not changed, and will not change.”

However, the election campaign has shown us that Jacinda Ardern is not averse to U-turns and flip-flops, so with the Prime Ministership within her grasp, we should not rule out a change of heart on the referendum.   

A final comment on the media – Labour’s startling rise in the polls, was largely driven by the media. The extraordinarily positive publicity they gave to Labour’s new leader day after day would have dramatically elevated the profile of any party. In fact, it was not days, but weeks before adulation finally gave way to the proper scrutiny of election promises as a focus of news. It was only then that the election battle could really begin.

As could be expected, tax dominated the campaign as the single biggest differentiator of the approach of the two major parties: Labour wanted to cancel the tax cuts and introduce a raft of new taxes to fund their spending programme, while National wanted to reduce taxes and fund their election promises through prudent fiscal management.

Labour again ignored the sage advice of their former leader David Lange, that a capital gains tax is a tax you introduce if you want to lose not one election, but the next three elections.

With Labour having already lost the previous two elections with their strong promotion of a capital gains tax, it remains to be seen whether the words of the former Prime Minister will prove to be prophetic and they will lose this third election as well.

With the public now rejecting a capital gains tax at three general elections – it is hoped that Labour will finally learn to listen to the voice of the people.

There is much water to go under the bridge before our new government is announced, but in spite of all the ups and downs, we should not lose sight of the importance of elections and the value of democracy. When we vote, each and every one of us is making a difference. It is now up to those that we have elected into office to do the right thing and deliver us a new government that is capable of running the country well, as we face the uncertainties of the global future that lies ahead.


Should Winston Peters make the referendum on Maori seats a top priority in coalition negotiations?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Unfortunately its likely to be a non-binding referendum, if it goes ahead at all. Personal greed for power and a better salary than they would get in the private sector, means a public vote is not in their interests in my view. Vic
Its going to happen so lets not weigh everything down with this racial issue Warren
Long Overdue — John
Not before time Barry
NZF, National, and ACT have all said the seats should go as did the Royal Commission. So the mandate to remove them is already there and there is no need to for an expensive divisive referendum. A simple majority vote in the House and they are gone. No more paralysis by analysis. 7 seats gone is also pleasing to the electors. Let’s do this, and fast!  John
I received a NZF with flier with this as a key undertaking. It very much influenced my vote. To abandon the position would be pure and simple treachery! Colin
This would be the first step towards being one country all New Zealanders and the same law for everyone John
We should get rid of all political parties as well – Independents running the country would would be far more competent – it works well in Local Govt so why not? Russell
It was one of his election promises to abolish the Maori seats in Parliament. If he was to go back on his word like elections gone bye that could be spell the end of The NZ First Party as being untrustworthy. Wayne
Absolutely Greg
One country, made up of many different people. Should not be based on “ancestry” or “culture. Andy
He has campaigned on this issue he needs to finish what he starts,. Wendy
We are one people–or should be. Laurie
That is the promise that got my vote Bryan
It was a bottom line. I wouldn’t have voted for him otherwise Paul
This is a point of difference between NZFirst, National and Labour Catherine
Lets make this country one!! Simon
Of course he should! Jim
We are a multi cultural country made-up of many ethnic groups. Brian
End Apartheid in New Zealand now! Kerry
No question about it. They have to go. Murray
The time is never better it also will be a test to see if Winston is adamant and honest in this regard. Steve
Remember a referendum can have a different outcome fro that expected by its proponents Howard
Most certainly. The bias towards all things Maori has to stop. David
That’s why I voted for him Elizabeth
He said he would and I sincerely hope he does, it is the main reason I voted for him. National said they would but when John Key came to power he got into bed with them. Now National does not have their support maybe Bill will be honest and let the Nation decide? Eric
There is no good reason for any democracy to have race-based seats in government. The Treaty supposedly created one people equal under the law. Let us find out what all New Zealanders truly want. Michael
You put it so well, how can I not feel convinced. Thanks. Arthur
Absolutely! That’s what he electioneered on. He, personlly is not making the decision, he electioneered on a referenda of all NZ citizens to make the decision. Maureen
It is time we stopped paying only lip-service to democracy. Every New Zealander of whatever ethnicity is entitled to fair and balanced representation. Harvey
Definietely. That was one of his promises and the reason I have voted for him in the past. We don ‘t need them when we have a Maori Affairs Ministry. He should honour his promises. Sheila
No longer required as Maori have adequate representation on the general seats Sue
That was one of his election promises!. Don
We have already enough Maories in government Gerard
Maori seats have become nothing more than a historic hypocrisy.  Tim
No, but pretty high. I want to see separatism entirely rejected. Winston will uphold that. someone who will be good for a single NZ. There are many Maori in electoral seats they have won. Therefore let them continue and abolish the seats. There are other races here not calling for separate representation but achieving electoral seats. We would be better off as a nation if the Treaty were torn up. Anthony
Remove race from all legislation now. Unite New Zealanders, stop the social divisiveness.  Sam
Yes, that was one of the main reasons I voted for him, he has always said that we should all be equal, & all as one, as the treaty was signed under Stan
Said he would. Trust he will stick to his word. John
Waste of money. The election said it all. Bill
They should have gone years ago Alan
Definitely! James
Maoris over represented with MMP Stan
Most definitely  Lachlan
I gave my party vote to NZ First for this reason, in the hope that eventual abolition of the Maori Seats would also trigger a landslide which would wipe out the Waitangi Tribunal, Iwi Participation Clauses, the Treaty Partnership myth and derail the Maori elitist gravy train in one fell swoop! These seats are superfluous anachronisms which passed their use-by date in 1893 and should have been done away with years ago. Scott
This whole business of raced based seats, has gone on far too long now. Local body should look to changing their policy on Maori board members as well Lloyd
Yes both Maori seats & ACC unelected seats. Alan
Nearly everyone in NZ wants One Country – One People. – all together. Even the majority of Maori don’t want to be ‘singled out’ – This racial separatism is holding many back from moving (and thinking) forward..  Stuart
It needs to happen but a top priority no Peter
But on his comments so far on backing down from this “bottom line” policy, I would not be surprised to see him give up the priority for a seat at the top table. John
Absolutely a TOP PRIORITY!! Many of us who supported NZ First did so on the understanding that they would make good on certain pre-election pledges, but most significantly (certainly in my case), by holding the referendum on Maori seats, eliminating all race-based legislation and reducing parliament to 100 seats. Tony
But he wont. More duck shovelling from winnie Sam
Maybe it is not a matter of urgency anymore but it still will be the best path to take to in removing the Maori seats. The people have spoken clearly–there is no room in NZ Politics for the country to be held to ransom by a small minority of radicals, Long live Democracy. Ralph
A promise is a promise! Brian
Winston has been talking of the Maori Seats for many years now he has the chance to put his money where his mouth is. This may not go down well with Labour but would prove that W. has a snippet of integrity. Elizabeth
Its the fairest way to ask the public Carl
Those are startling figures that Muriel has outlined. Get rid of those Maori seats and we’ll be closer to the right percentage of representation Neville
Surely there must be more important stuff… Ross
The Maoris of NZ were given a choice. They have taken it. Therefore the Maori seats should be abolished and Winston Peters stand by his own convictions. Margaret
Racism needs to end. Charles
With these seats purely for Maori we are an Apartheid Country and I believe Banning Maori seats will be the first step to-wards this separate policies being introduced into our way of life Kay
All people in New Zealand should have their say, not just Maori. Peter
Yes he should make the referendum on the Maori seats a top priority in coalition negotiations, that’s the only reason I gave him my party vote. Pete
He said that was a priority, but I wonder if he will back out of that now, by saying that with the racist Maori party gone, there is no need for it. I gave him my party vote because he had this as a bottom line.  Lorraine
It should be ONE people David
YES YES YES!!!! Caro
Yes because right now it is a top priority for the country! Graeme
Then He’ll be gone. Neville
If Winston and NZ First do not follow through on this policy issue then I’m sure their supporters will feel let down. Such a betrayal is likely to be the demise of NZ First in the 2020 elections. Martin
Yes, get rid of them. It is unfair to maori people to perpetuate this racial stigma. Neil
One people! Penina
We are over all the nonsense re seats just need them all to get on with Governing Laurel
Too many politicians and hangers-on reference various electoral reviews to promote their views that the 5% threshold for representation in Parliament should be lowered. Well, the original Royal Commission also recommended the Maori seats be abolished when MMP was introduced. It is high time they were but everyone is afraid of upsetting the radical Maoris. Gary
How long will we have a privlege for one person over another. There is no reason to continue with these maori seats. Are we saying maori have to have special seats because they can not do it on their own. They are no different to any other voter. Dene
OR option 2 :- demand that Citizens Initiated Referenda ( already in place) be made BINDING . Selwyn
That’s why we voted for your party, Winston. If you go with the Greens and Labour then I will predict the collapse of NZ First in any forthcoming elections. Most Kiwis want a “one nz”. Mitch
There should be no question as to Winston’s undertakings in this regard. To retain any credability he must honour this and other election promises.  Chris
Common sense? Don’t hold your breath! John
Their continued existence is so anachronistic, patronising to Maori and insulting to all New Zealanders. Fiona
I voted for NZ First Only because there would be a referendum on Maori seats Mike
He wouldn’t have got my vote otherwise.  Brian
He should stick to his promise before the election. Moyra
One country…one people …. Terry
No longer necessary or relevant Peter
Vital it’s done so we are one people …. Winston shouldn’t do yet another famous U turn. Carol
About time, too much political correctness has dominated thinking rather than the realism that is required. Rob
Maori racism urgent issue, hope Winston does not do a U turn. Norman
The pols have indicated that it is sensible, and the separatism feared from radical Moari should be stopped in its tracks John
This is Winston’s last chance to build a positive legacy. We expect him to work for ALL of NZ and remove this historical anomaly in fulfillment of his promises to do so. Chris
These racist relics must be abolished and separatism buried once and for all. David
This was the reason I voted NZ First. Dennis
Do what you say you will be doing Jayjay
He had better stick to his word. This is why I held my nose and voted for him. Ronmac
If he doesn’t a lot will be really disappointed in him! Ted
Most certainly. I wonder how many of those up anddown dancing protesting Maory’s are having more than 50% Maory blood.  Johan
Necessary and important that he is seen to have an element of trust and worthy of some respect in coalition. Roger
It seems maori don’t want the maori party, so why not? Mark
We have no need for race based seats. If you think on this then what about seats for Pacific Islanders, Those from India, China etc. Brian
Scrape the Treaty Reg
Still very necessary to get rid of the Maori seats Andrew
Definitely Clark
Abolish racism in NZ!. John
Even better, if the government of the day had any guts and integrity, they should simply do away with the Maori seats that constitute APARTHEID in NZ. Geoff
The Nats. used to say the same until they threw down the white feather. Robert
Been there done that and they are still there and more,look at that turia bat 30 m to talk for the wanganui river what a laugh ha ha ha, wonder what country loaned the taxpayers that lot, suckers we are James
Yes, because a binding referendum by all New Zealanders on an issue that concerns and affects all New Zealanders is the only way to make a democratic result effective. This should have been resolved when MMP was introduced. Lisa
It is time for someone to lead the country on this and Peters should do it. He said that it was not negotiable so he should stand up and do it for NZ. Unfortunately, I am not sure that he will have the intestinal fortitude to carry it through. Richard
Yes he should but he won’t!! David
Racial divisions and the privileges attendant on them MUST be removed, unless we want a divided and fragmented society, which will become more lawless as time passes.  TONY
Firstly , he should keep his word and give all voting New Zealanders an opportunity to vote in a referendum. Secondly, the Maori seats, originally set up to encourage Maori of the day to take part in democratic voting, have long outlived their original purpose and now result in an imbalance of Maori representation in Parliament under MMP. I presume that if the vote should go against the Maori seats that the Maori Seats would remain for the upcoming three year term but would then cease to exist, and those on the Maori Roll today would automatically qualify and become part of the general roll. Robin
The is long overdue Tom
We don’t need any maori seats as it is racist Ian
If he dosen’t he will no longer be respected by the voters and it will be the end of NZ First. and fox and her cronies will destroy and bankrupt this country when they get back in which they will do if Winston backs off having a referendum as national and labour will bend over backwards for that bunch of half castes just to get back in as main ruler of the country. Richard
I’ve clicked Yes, but if NZ First were to follow their web site policies then they should go with Labour, because most of their policies are to the left of Labour. And if going with Labour, then deleting Maori seats cannot then be a priority. But a binding referendum was THE declared bottom line; the main trumpeted reason to give your party vote to Peters. If NZ First want a future, then they cannot renege; a referendum must be a top priority  Peter
Absolutely, he should. There should be NO special advantages given to ANY group in a Democracy. It is the main reason we gave him our votes – to re-establish equality before the law and freedom of speech – instead of this oligarchy we call a democracy.  Joyce
More important issues are on the deck”…tax cuts for the middle class and sort out the Urban Crisis….provincial New Zealand requires Urgent attention…. Chris
It needs to happen been in the pipe line for to long with no action  Russell 
The removal will also remove the ability of councils to establish Maori wards as these must come from the Maori role. Time to remove all race based statements from Government and local body policies. Bruce 
It is mandatory not optional as those that voted for NZF expect this undertaking to be honoured otherwise no more NZF 2020 !! BOB
They are not required so yes we should let all of the voters decide.  Lew 
Yes, I hope so. Athol
IMHO the Maori Seats along with Maori Electoral Roll need to go now and that will take care of the shemozzle every Central Government Election and every six years the Local Body Councils having to discuss whether to establish Maori Wards. Derrick
I vote yes but one should be aware that a referendum that abolishes the Maori seats would also be the impetus required to resurrect the Maori Party. Bruce
It was one of the key reasons I voted for him. Sheena
For too long we have had that racist situation. maori do not need to be PROPPED UP.  William
Keep his promise Leon
Lets all be New Zealanders Jim
Winston made his postion very clear prior to the election regarding the Maori seats and a lot of people voted based on that stance including me.If he renegs in that issue i will never vote nz first again and go back to supporting Natioanl.Because of Labours stand on the Maori seats Winston has no choice but to join National or remain on the benches.If Winston decides to go with labour N Z first will cease to exsit next election and Winston will leave politics in disgrace. Ken
That’s why I voted for him Roderick
There is clearly no NEED for maori seats as their percentage of the Government is greater than their perceived percentage of population. If the maori seats continue to exist, there surely arises a case for oriental seats, indian seats, and for any other group whose numbers approximate those of the maoris. WE ARE ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE, let’s grow up and act like it. Alan
It’s a distraction! Go for the essentials that drive us forward not the peripheral issues. Bruce
YES a promise is a promise, but every knew he would not stick with that as I have mentioned before, he is Cunning as A Maori Dog so what do you except from a person like him. Geoff
Only a Maori can get rid of the Maori seats. Raced based politics starting with the seats must go. Wayne
We don’t need them Dave
It is time for the Maori electorates, which were originally meant to be temporary, were abolished. Patricia
It is about time we had a chance to settle this issue. John
We don’t need them Graeme
Yes Winston should make the referendum on the Maori Seats a bottom line He campaigned on that and would have received many votes because of that undertaking. However I believe he is a pragmatist and will do what gives him personally the best deal       (Deputy PM Finance Minister etc) I don’t trust him and NZ will suffer accordingly. Robin
If they want be voted in why should they be treated differently  Jimmy
Most of his support came from people who want these unnecessary racist seats gone. To back off from this bottom line shows he is not true to his word. The fact that the Maori Party has gone is no excuse for reneging on this promise. Chris
It was a NZF policy, and they have reached their use by date. Willy
His support team confirmed in writing (before the election) that it was media speculation, not Winston, that as behind rumours of a U-turn on the Maori Seats referendum. If he nw drops it, he will have obtained my party vote under false pretences. Hugh
And one law for all. Terry
We should not have racist seats Richard
Let us make a decision on this and clear the matter. Kevin
Absolutely! Helen
I strongly believe that he got a lot of votes because of his policy to hold the referendum. Bryan
We don’t need separatism Maori having more than enough representation in parliament. This was one of Peters major election platforms.binding referendum on this and other issues. Graeme
He must !! If he does not he will be hounded from power…eventually  David
Winston promised regularly his aim was abolishing Maori seats binding referendum. This must be done, Maoris are well over-represented by Parliaments racial agenda George
He made it a bottom line before the election and should not change it now that the election has occurred. I would have voted for NZ First if I could have trusted Winston Peters to do what he said he would do after the election but I could not. It remains to be seen if he will do a 180 degree turn on this issue now that he is no longer accountable to the electorate. Paul
For NZ to go forward in every aspect positively can only be achieved if all citizens are equal without any separatism such as the Maoti party. As a long time National party supporter I voted NZ First in the hope that equal citizenship will be realised. So let us hope that NZ First will come to the party if it will be part of the government and hold a referendum regarding the Maori seats. Frank
He should repreal the iwi clauses in the RMA Bill passed in April, as he promised, and also abolish the Waitangi Tribunal. That would make him a real champion. Colin
That was the only reason I gave my party vote to NZ First.  Rob
Absolutely.We need all Maori to become Kiwis NOT Iwis John
YES! Let us all be one people, and put the past behind us. Cast off the anchor of the outdated treaty, and look to the future. Kabe
But he won’t because he is a polictical charliton. Never have believe anything he says  Les
As shown by your article, maori have their representation, focus on lifting the poor, ALL the poor, forget separatism. Richard
Yes he should make it a priority. He has said in the past that he would go first with the party that had the majority in parliament. National has said that it would abolish the Maori seats when the time is ripe, so here is a golden opportunity to do it now. Frank
Also finalise and close all treaty negotiations. Keith
Long overdue. Alan
One nation – one people – one rule for all David
YES – This would then end Labour’s run for the Treasury Benches. Mo
He has had this as a leading manifesto item for many years and the scene is set for it to be enacted following the collapse of the Maori and Mana parties. It seems obvious that with the number of Maori in Parliament special earmarked sears aren’t warranted . Mike
He rode the pre-election on that mantra, and National promised to remove therm when Treaty Claims were completed. Seems not unreasonable that this should now all come to pass? Robyn
What a complete and utter farce MMP is!! Tony
Those seats should have gone when they were supposed too, NOT years later. Graeme
We need to be on NZ. Di
He champions all Kiwis or ordinary Kiwis he says so he must push for no more Maori seats since it is discriminatory Ray
It’s a side issue Warren
Maori will not have a credible representation in government under labour.Tamati should be ashamed of himself. In actual fact I think he is embarrassed.  Brian 
If it doesn’t happen now it never will – only Winston has the nerve / temerity to tackle this issue. John
Get rid of the maori seats Bill
It should ge a general referendum not just a Maori one. Ii was a pakeha electorate that granted the Maori seats – for a limited period, initially. Gerry
In my mind YES. He cannot go back on what he was promising whilst out hunting for votes. In my mind, just because the Maori Party have failed to make it into Parliament, does NOT equate to things have changed permanently. They have changed at this election. There are many more to come. There should be a binding referendum on the Maori seats. Let the people speak … ALL PEOPLE.  MADDI
If he doesn’t, then he is a fake Chris
Time for a rebalancing Gary
Maori seats and anything associated specifically to maori, apart from their cultural aspects is racist. We are practising apartheid but not admitting the fact. Tony
Not so important now. Talk about it later in term. Bruce
We are running a dual system at present which is certainly not democratic – Either we have democracy or not – I favor that we do and in order to follow that route we need to dispense with race based seats in parliament. Rob
A promise that attracted votes for NZF should not be shelved now if NZF is to be seen as a party with integrity, not shallow vote-catching whisky ideas. John
There are more important matters to be decided. Tom
NZ Voters have spoken  Pierre
But now doubt that he will John
He can’t afford to backtrack on this now, or he’ll lose credibility altogether. Although it’s the case that, as he says, the demise of the Maori Party has lessened that imperative, there’s every possibility that it will rise again, under new leadership, to continue its separatist ways, probably with more vigour than before. The Maori seats must be eliminated before that eventuates. Sure, recent polls have indicated a roughly 50:50 split in public sentiment on this issue, but there’s undoubtedly a ‘silent majority’ out there, who would gladly vote for abolition, given a referendum. Peters’ best option would be for NZF to sit on the cross-benches; then, when frustration in the National government reached a crucial level (say, after a year), as a result of its being unable to pass legislation (such as the RMA reform), caucus would implode and a new leader, more in tune with NZF, would take over. This re-invigoration of the party could see it in government for more than one more term. Graham
New Zealand has to be one. Darryl
Of course he should! That pre-election promise was the reason for many of the party votes being strategically cast in support of NZ First by both traditional Labour and National supporters.  Les
These seats are totally unnecessary now that Maori have universal voting rights. Same as everyone. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ONE PEOPLE. Having separate Maori seats is divisive.  Graeme
Equality must prevail not ethnic preferences Kelvin
It is long past time they went. Robbie
Lets get back to equal rights for all! Don
Referendums never indicate the best choice or path Tim
He’s got the country over a barrel now. Twice? I think not.! Over the hill and over ;the edge> Mabel
Long overdue, and, the reason for their introduction long gone. Peter
Binding as well Phil
It is a great pity that t has become a them and us New Zealand. It is not all that many years back that we all got on together without “This is mine under the Treaty Of Waitangi” and this has caused a division (Them and Us) It has also caused great expense in the so called “Return of land PLUS Massive Money amounts” I do not believe that in those days long gone that the small number of Maoris lived on all parts of N Z . (With what is being wanted they have become accustomed to being on a “Gravy Train” and to hell as to whom will suffer in the long run. The sooner it is back to ONE NEW ZEALAND and ONE PEOPLE the better but I will not hold my breath. Marylin
It is time we all became New Zealanders, and the first step in that direction is to have a common role Richard
He should but he won’t because his Maori supporters would leave his party and take nz first into oblivion.Pity because people in general have had a guts full of Maori favouritism ,their welfare abuse and their crime. Don 
It is clear that many people voted for Winston Peters on that one policy alone. For him to now reverse what was a very clear policy would signal treachery in it’s purist form. Let’s hope we are not able to pin such a label on Winston in the sunset of his long political career. Dianna
If he doesn’t I’ve wasted my party vote! Terry
NZ First position from day 1 – fundamentally important for New Zealand to survive as a united country. Henry
It was his biggest Bottom Line. If he flip-flops NZ1st will be history at the next Election. Kevin
Absolutely! The fact that People of Maori descent are well represented within the established political parties ( 24 % and therefore even over represented) there no need at all to maintain compulsory Maori seats in Parliament . Sure enough we hear some Maori crying RACIST the often abused battle cry to distort facts and reality to their own ends. We have to ignore that and look forward acting constructively for the wellbeing of our nation. Everything else we can kick into the bin. Michael
It’s about time a politician followed through on a pre election promise . I note Winston is already tap dancing on thi issue , suggesting he didn’t make a promise .I think it is high time these race based seats were dumped it is reverse racism . The part Maori are already over represented in parliament based on a percent of the population why do they need special race based seats? Jock
Lets see what the public want, surely they`re entitled to know and it has to be binding and instantly instigated otherwise we`ll have another 177 years of repeated settlements and more than likely worse racialism.  Robert
He has to keep his word or get out Colin
He said he would and I voted for him  Arthur 
For better or worse they have to go, before we can put the separatist agenda to bed once and for all, and ALL citizens must vote, not just maori. Lesley
It is way past time they were abolished. Andrew
Peters must carry out his promise and hold the referendum on tribal seats and a much reduced and conditional immigration policy enacted. Don
lets get rid of this race based bollocks once and forever john
NZ First campaigned on promises to abolish these seats. Don
The Royal Commission which set up MMP said that he Maori seats should be abolished . Having specific seats means that Maori are totally and unfairly over represented in our Parliament . Maori seats in this age are manifestly “Racist’ and divisive to a hopefully progressive and harmonious society . They MUST be abolished Hylton
Yes I am sick and tired of Maori being giving special treatment because their race. All the favours they get has not helped them progress except in filling more and more prison cells. If there a suitable Maori candidate standing for National or ACT in my electorate I would have no hesitation in voting for them Colin
There is no need for them now. They are actually holding back everyday Maori citizens who have spoken to the Maori elite top cats through their votes – they want nothing to do with the race to separatism. But the elite iwi are still trying to keep the gravy train afloat and the Maori seats combined with the Clayton’s treaty make their voice heard above all ordinary Maori citizens. Definitely time for a number-one trim. Liz
New Zealanders are one people no need for seperatism Ian
Yes, fed up with hearing about the Maori seats, abolish them now. Don’t need a referendum. Past deliberations over many years have said get rid of them. A really good Maori called Susan on Leighton Talkback was very succinct in her ideals, the seats do nothing for Maori, it just holds them back, they need to go head to head in their own right, not with yet another handout. Go Susan. Audrey
thats what he promised thats what he should stick to. Graeme
Winston campaigned on the issue of abolition of the Maori seats in parliament so he needs to respect those of us who voted for him and honour his election promises. If we truly have 25% Maori representation in parliament who have been democratically elected by all New Zealanders, then why do we need Maori seats??? Steve
Their continued existence defeats the fair working of proportional representation Alan
Definitely. For all of the reasons he has espoused for all of the years he has been campaigning for himself, N.Z. First and New Zealand. It is the main reason I gave N.Z. First my Party vote. I have never given N.Z. First either of my votes in the past. I am of Maori descent and am of the firm opinion that it is long overdue for Maori politics to mature; join the main stream and discard the crutch of the Maori seats. Winston stand up to your promises! Gary
not important, just another costly hindrance to the country as a whole going forward Roy
If this country is to unite then everyone must be treated the same – no exceptions on race, religion or sex Graeme
Current situation is practising racism..  Anon
Now is the time. Andrew
It was the only reason I voted for him Lyndon
We can do without the divisive attitudes spawned by racialist politics and get on with working towards a better NZ together Michael
It’s time that the over representation was removed. Allan
As promised! Alan
If Winston does not make the referendum a priority he should resign. Mike
100% Eddie
Yes but removing the racist components from the RMA, stopping the seabed and foreshore claims and any Maori claims in any form to our water as well as restoring democracy to New Zealand are far more urgent for the next three years. Donald
Yep the Maori seats should go Michael
The harm done as a result of radical tribal separatism is too great to risk a resurgence and the continued existence of race-based separatist representation exposes the country to a repeat of what we have just endured. John
Totally no need in this day and age, for any one race to have special representation. Plus, anyone can register on the Maori roll to vote, so proof of ancestry required, so its a total farce anyway! Hugh
There shouldn’t be any Maori preferences anywhere in NZ in 2017. No other race preference either ( we are all New Zealanders ) Kevin
Time to grow up as a nation and treat all citizens equally regardless of ethnicity. Lee
Yes he should. It is an issue that, for the people who voted for NZ First, voted on the basis that he would honor it. Des
Absolutely. I will feel totally let down if Winston reneges on what I took to be a promise and helped me make my mind up who to give my Party vote to. The Maori seats should have long gone and all special treatment to do with ‘Maori’ should also go allowing us to grow up as a country. It is demeaning and an insult to insinuate that ‘they’ need special treatment. They don’t!! It has given some the excuse to be victims – those who can’t be bothered making their own way in life. All cultures have these types of people, not just those with part Maori ethnicity. Helen
those electorates are well past their use by dates Collin
It was part of NZ First manifesto on policies – the fact that Labour won all 7 Maori seats is totally irrelevant. To try and give himself greater bargaining potential with Adern by saying that the seats are no longer an issue because the Maori Party is not in Parliament is just utter nonsense. Andrew
Yes, he should – but he won’t! People are very unwise to put their faith in a politician. JD
Absolutely he should make it a top priority for the coalition talks and that should rule out Labour and the Greens! William
I only voted for NZF because Winston Peters promised the Maori seat referendum would be a bottom line, non-negotiable issue so he’d better keep his word.  Bryan
Yes, yes, yes – we need the referendum on the Maori seats to ensure more radicals like the Maori Party don’t make their way back into Parliament. Lois
New Zealand doesn’t need Maori seats – as the figures show, Maori are more than adequately represented in Parliament. Ray
The Maori seats are long past their use-by date. The referendum needs to be held. Winston Peters must not back down on this issue. He’s the only one with the courage to see this through. Michael